JUST three teams remain in the mix to win this season’s League 1 play-offs - and one of these is the in-form North Wales Crusaders!

Doncaster, who were beaten by Carl Forster’s Cru last month, are into the final of the play-offs and next up for the Crusaders will be this Sunday’s trip to Hunslet, who ended the regular campaign in second position but lost 26-14 at home to Doncaster on Sunday.

Conversely, Crusaders finished the season in sixth position, but they have shown they’re a dangerous animal when it comes to knockout rugby league, demonstrated by Sunday’s thrilling 13-12 triumph at Oldham.

“It was nip and tuck and it could have gone either way,” said Cru player-coach Forster.

“Oldham were quite unlucky in the second half, but we took the chance for the drop goal.

“We did have a failed attempt four-or-five minutes before.

“We got a penalty on our 30 and we said all along, stay in the middle of the park and let’s go for the one.”

That ploy worked a treat as Toby Hughes made it four wins from four matches with the club by nailing a crucial one-pointer in the 79th minute.

For the second week in a row, Crusaders had to recover from a half-time deficit.

They trailed hosts Workington Town by two points after 40 minutes of their opening play-offs test, while at Boundary Park, Oldham boasted a healthy 12-point advantage at the midway point.

Former Cru favourite Pat Ah Van was one of the home try scorers to build-up that healthy advantage.

“It didn’t look great after 13 or 14 minutes and we were 12 down,” added Forster.

“I thought Oldham were the better team, but we kind of knew we had a lot more gears to go up. My message at half-time was to get the next try.”

It’s fair to say that message got through to the players, with captain Callum Hazzard grabbing a try just two minutes into the second half to begin an epic fightback.

Matt Fletcher bagged the next score for the marauding Crusaders and with Leon Hayes kicking both conversions, it was 12-12 going into the closing stages.

Cru did see Dave Gibbons sent off late in the tie and a decision on any punishment was expected to be made last night

Doncaster reached the play-off final for a third year in a row following a superb second half display to defeat Hunslet.

Adam Ryder grabbed an early score as Hunslet went into the interval 10-8 to the good.

Hunslet opened the scoring in the second half as big winger Jonny Campbell touched down, but Doncaster hit back through tries from Ben Johnston, Watson Boas and captain Sam Smeaton to seal their spot in the final.

Coach Richard Horne told Doncaster’s YouTube channel: “Look, we’re in the final.

“The quality of the game wasn’t great, both teams in the first half were completing below 50 per cent so we recognised that if we just came out in the second half and got a few sets together we’d hopefully take control of the game.”

He added: “We’re going to have to be a lot better in the final, we can’t throw in a performance like that.

“I don’t know whether it was the preparation with it being a later kick-off time or not, I thought we started slow and we’ve not been doing that over the last four weeks.”